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America's Strangest Taxes

America's Strangest Taxes: General Tax in Hawaii

Courtesy of Kauai Visitors Bureau

General Tax, Hawaii

We’re not being facetious: in Hawaii, tourists and residents are at the mercy of the General Excise Tax. Regarded by locals as “the price of living in paradise,” the GET collects 4 percent on most goods and services—even necessities like toothpaste. The tax applies to businesses, but Hawaii explicitly permits retailers and service providers to pass the cost on to customers.

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